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Katherine Mansfield Papers - Additions

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Mansfield2

Scope and Content of the Collection

The collection consists mainly of correspondence concerning the handling of Mansfield's literary estate after her death on January 9, 1923. The bulk of the letters, written by her husband John Middleton Murry to her agent James B. Pinker, concern the publishing of newly found work, reissuing of published work, discussions of royalties, and permissions for translations. In addition there are miscellaneous letters from and to translators and publishers regarding her work. There are also two manuscript works of Mansfield's: a single poem, "To Stanislaus Wyspianski," and a collection of poems, "The Earth Child," accompanied by two short letters signed by Mansfield. "The Earth Child" contains thirty-six poems dating from 1909-1910 when Mansfield was twenty-two. Many of these poems, which Mansfield sent to her publisher, Elkin Matthews, were never published.


  • Creation: 1910-1938



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Katherine Mansfield Papers-Additions are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Katherine Mansfield Papers-Additions are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Katherine Mansfield

British short story writer and critic.

Katherine Mansfield was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in Wellington, New Zealand in 1888. She went to London to be educated at Queen's College from 1903 to 1906, and then returned to New Zealand to study the cello for two years. In 1908 she returned to England, having chosen to be a writer rather than a musician, and there she lived the rest of her life except for sojourns to Germany, Switzerland and France where she would go seeking recovery from persistent poor health.

Mansfield's personal life was unsteady and dramatic. In 1909 she left an unconsummated marriage to a singer named George Bowden after a day, and later in that year delivered a stillborn child. In 1911 she met English critic John Middleton Murry with whom she lived, on and off, until they finally married in 1918. Their relationship was both productive and frustrating; Murry was a difficult man and yet he did much to further Mansfield's literary development and success. He was the editor of Rhythm and Blue Review, periodicals that published some of Mansfield's early stories, and later he was editor of the Athenaeum to which she contributed both stories and book reviews.

Mansfield's earliest collection of stories is entitled In a German Pension (1911), but probably her best-known collections are Bliss and Other Stories (1920) and The Garden-Party and Other Stories (1922). The year after the publication of the latter, she died from tuberculosis at the age of 34.

Katherine Mansfield is recognized as an experimental and original writer. Her stories, varied as they are from short, sharp sketches to long, impressionistic evocations of time, place and character, have won her a lasting literary reputation.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Correspondence, works, and miscellaneous items relating to Katherine Mansfield, British short story writer and critic.


The papers are organized by type of material: correspondence, miscellaneous, and works. Correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Collection Stack Location

VAULT 40 8


Bequest of Jane Warner Dick, August, 1999

Processed by

Diana Haskell, 1999; Virginia H. Smith, 2000.

Inventory of the Katherine Mansfield Papers - Additions, 1910-1938
Virginia H. Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States